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Soaking Up the Suds with James Crane   When I have a beer, I go for quality over quantity. This was not always the case. While presently I’d rather just have a single beer that’s memorable, I used to have enough beers to not remember anything, let alone what I drank. Now, after one heavy and strong beer, I’m ready to call it a night. Sometimes,...

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Soaking Up the Suds with James Crane   The Big, Bad DirtWolf Somewhere along the way, IPA’s became kind of a big deal. First brewed in England, these beers were generally well hopped. They were also meant to age for a while. Even before they were drank domestically, they were meant to be cellared for a year or more for the flavor to mature. This made...

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Soaking Up the Suds with James Crane   For me, there is something special about barrel-aged beers. The wood imparts certain qualities on the brew that are incredibly distinctive and generally pleasing. They’re almost like a whole other monster, the end result sharing the qualities of the original beer and that of whatever was in the barrel before...

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soaking up the suds with james crane   The holidays are most certainly over. It seems a little unfair that all the celebration ends when we still have so much winter left. There are plenty of cold dark nights ahead with plenty of snow to curse. All the lights are put away and the trees have been carted off. All that’s left are dreams of spring and the...

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Soaking Up the Suds with James Crane   The beer I’m drinking this week is a collaboration ale from 10 Barrel, Blue Jacket and Stone breweries. Its name is simple, yet somehow sexy. Suede Imperial Porter promised an ale brewed with avocado honey, jasmine and calendula flowers. Normally, I’d be a bit dubious that such subtle flavors could blend together...

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Soaking Up the Suds with James Crane   Each December, a few things usually happen. First, the holiday season kicks into full swing. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but things tend to start getting down right jolly. There is a lot of merry making. Lights hang from most anything within reach of an extension cord and people start looking for any...

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Liquid Soaking Up the Suds with James Crane   Happy Anniversary Ever since I’ve started writing about beer, I’ve made it a point to review Stone’s Anniversary Ale. Every year, they release a big beautiful beer that does amazing things with my tongue and heart. Whenever I get wind that a new one is released, I get rather excited. Its just a bit like...

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Soaking up the suds with James Crane   Shake It! Coffee seems to have a Pavlovian effect on me. Though I switched to tea a few years ago, the scent of a good strong cup of coffee in the morning still makes me feel good. It’s an instant wake-up, the very smell having a very similar effect to that of the hot brew itself. Those nutty roasted scents seem to...

Soaking Up the Suds

Soaking Up the Suds by James Crane     Hello Hops! If you drink beer, you most likely know that it has two main ingredients: hops and barley. Most people know that Barley is a grain just like wheat. The question is, however, what is this mysterious thing known as hops? And why does the taste of it vary from that of a flower to that of a lemon or that...

Soaking Up the Suds

Soaking Up the Suds by James Crane   Big, Bold and Strong Weyerbacher is one of my favorite Pennsylvania breweries. The beers are generally strong and bold, which are two thing I like in a brew. While I tend to forget a lot of the beers I drink, Weyerbacher’s hold firm in the memory, their distinction warrants them some of those important neural pathways...